The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Photoblog: Outside pics

| October 22, 2009

This post is less gallery, more linear.

I’m also putting in a cut to not make this too absurdly long.

Lizzy paints the garage, outside of the house with all the flowers in bloom (this is from about a month ago), and some other bits.. (more…)

Photoblog: House walkthrough

| October 22, 2009

So, at this point, the main floor is basically done. We did the bedroom when we moved in, and over the past couple of years have hit the rest of the rooms on this floor, excepting the master bathroom (which is a gut to the studs and redo job) and the conservatory (which, aside from some ugly paint, isn’t worth changing).

Note that I can take no credit for basically any of this – my wife has the taste. I just suggest crackpot things and sometimes she likes them.

Impressions on having a wisdom tooth extracted

| October 22, 2009

(Likely not for the squeamish)

Let me just state that I’ve never had any serious orthodontic work done, so this is all new to me. The most work I had done was extraction of some stubborn baby teeth, and a retainer to push an adult tooth into place.

Today I had one of my wisdom teeth pulled. It was actually growing in, and chewing up the side of my mouth. It had been sore, off and on, for some years, but recently it was constantly painful – not agony, just a dull ache for the past couple of months.

So, yeah, today they pulled it out. Novocaine, pliers, pry, extract. It was over in 15 minutes – 5 minutes to get it loose and 10 minutes to figure out how to get the roots unhooked and maneuver it out.

Of course, I couldn’t feel anything, but it was about the freakiest thing I’ve ever had done – probably because it was in my head. See, surgery in the extremities, even in my torso, doesn’t really bother me that much. Go above the neck, however, and it freaks me the hell out. So, something that I could feel (but, I need to reiterate, didn’t hurt) where someone is prying/pulling on a tooth that I can feel in my jaw. Totally weird.

That said, the Novocaine has warn off, and it is a dull ache (no painkillers, just homebrew). In fact, it may actually be less painful than it was before they pulled out the tooth (not sure, I’ll tell you tomorrow. 😉 )

Photoblog update – dining room

| October 22, 2009

So, I think Lizzy is finally satisfied with the dining room – floor, crown molding, chair rail, molding frames, the shelf to hold Liz’s seasonal displays, new light fixtures, all that.

Photoblog update – beer kit

| October 21, 2009

This is a short one, but is a small gallery of beer stuff Lizzy got me for my birthday.

Big Bang Theory

| October 20, 2009

Wil Wheaton, FTW!!!!

Awesome, hilarious episode.

That show is such a slam dunk.

Musings on the changing genre of Science Fiction

| October 15, 2009

(Or: Waaaah! Girls have cooties!)

So, fearsclave posted this, which links to this post, which basically distills down to “science fiction is about men exploring and doing things, and without this inspiration, a whole generation of boys not be so inspired and science will suffer… and it’s all the fault of evil girls” (synopsis and emphasis mine).

Now, ignoring the blatant misogyny here, because John Scalzi suggests how to appropriately deal with these folks (point and laugh), and only paying passing service to the fact that girls invent things too, and can be inspired, and as long as people are inventing things, we’re better as a species. Still, all that has been discussed to death, so I’m not to bother.

Instead, I’m going to talk about how what they really want isn’t science fiction – they want chest-thumping adventure tales – in spaaaaaace.

Charles Stross recently wrote about it, and he’s right. Let’s face it – much of science fiction (especially on TV) has been some genre set in space. Repeat after me:

Just because it is set in space, does not make it a Science Fiction piece.

As Stross says, Science Fiction is about the science – paradigms that radically change how humanity relates to the world. Space travel, while an interesting vehicle to get people to strange places and new frontiers, really doesn’t change humanity. I’d argue the same is true for ray guns, aliens, transporters, etc.

Now, one thing which might be a real game changer is the emergence of replicators/nanoassemblers/cornucopia machines. Essentially, it removes one of the prime motivations of humanity – namely the acquisition of stuff in order to be able to survive and prosper. Just as it is interesting to wonder “what if this war went a little differently”, it is also interesting to wonder “what would humanity be like without need?” or “what would society be like if people never died?”

To quote Stross:

SF, at its best, is an exploration of the human condition under circumstances that we can conceive of existing, but which don’t currently exist

Which brings us back to the original article, where they state that men are not very interested in relationship drama in space. I would argue that, ultimately, that is the point of Science Fiction – exploring how people relate to each other, have conflicts, and otherwise do something with that technology. If all you do with that technology is go explore the galaxy, well, you might as well just be exploring the new world in the age of sail. It’s the same damned thing.

Which brings us to Firefly.

By Stross’s definition, Firefly is not Science Fiction. Sure, the SF and Western tropes are backdrops, providing a world for these people to make their way, and the story is about them, so it is about the human condition. However, these circumstances do already exist. You have some folks, on a ship, smuggling cargo amongst different places (worlds, countries, whatever). This exists. It is not new.

By the Spearhead article’s definition, it’s an example of the science fiction that “women are ruining”, because it is, primarily, a relationship drama.

However, despite being a relationship drama space western, is is absolutely my favorite show ever. Period.

In conclusion, what the Spearhead folks want is “action movies and buddy comedies in space”, and attempting to claim that not having such things will somehow negatively impact scientific progress just seems completely asinine.

Kittehpix megapost

| October 9, 2009

I tend to take a lot of pictures of cats.. these are the pictures from May until about now.

Even more photos – Christmas 2008

| October 9, 2009

So, Lizzy got me a new camera for this Christmas, so the photos will be of slightly better quality as well as larger. This is kind of the transition/mixed batch with overlap between the new and old cameras.

More photos – weather

| October 9, 2009

I just thought these were visually interesting and pretty.